The Brewers are off to a 2-3 start in #Craigtember after a tough couple of losses to close out their Labor Day weekend series in Cleveland.
The road trip continues tonight with the second half of their 4-game home-and-home with the Detroit Tigers. The Brewers will hope for better pitching than they got last week when these teams met at Miller Park, which ended with them splitting the two games.
For the Tigers, it’s a quick two-game pitstop at home before they hit the road again this weekend for a makeup doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals and another series against the White Sox. Since we last saw them, Detroit nearly got swept in Minnesota, dropping 4 out of the 5 games played there in the last 4 days.
We noted last week how streaky the Tigers have been this year, and they appear to be in the middle of a downstreak now. After beating the Brewers 12-1 last Tuesday to run their winning streak to 6 games, they’ve now lost 5 of 6, including Wednesday night’s game in Milwaukee. Despite that, they’re just a couple of games out of the 8th playoff spot in the AL at 18-21, with the New York Yankees clinging onto that spot at 21-20 entering today.
Tuesday, September 8th - 6:10 p.m. CDT
Adrian Houser vs. Spencer Turnbull
Wednesday, September 9th - 12:10 p.m. CDT
Corbin Burnes vs. Matthew Boyd
Tuesday night’s matchup is a repeat of one almost exactly a week ago, with both Houser and Turnbull hoping for better results than the 5 runs they both gave up. Turbull was out of the game sooner, thanks in large part to the 5 walks he issued over 4.1 innings.
As we noted in last week’s preview, Turnbull was actually pitching fairly well before his start against the Brewers, although walks have been an issue for him all year. Prior to giving away 5 free passes against the Brewers, he had walked at least 3 batters in each of his previous 3 starts. He’s now walked 4+ in 4 of his 7 starts.
Boyd was once one of the most-saught after pieces at the trade deadline a couple years ago, but the Tigers decided not to trade him in the middle of what looked like a breakout season due to his years of control. It’s starting to look like a bit of a missed opportunity for the Tigers front office, as Boyd has struggled to repeat those flashes of potential. He’s still striking out a large number of batters — he comes into this start with 47 strikeouts in 40.2 innings, good for a 10.4 K/9 while only having a 2.4 BB/9 — but like the Corbin Burnes of old, he may be living in the strike zone too much. Boyd gave up a league-leading 39 home runs last season, and has already given up 11 in 8 starts this year.
In fairness, his 6.64 ERA right now is being inflated by a pair of horrendous back-to-back starts that saw him give up 7 runs each to the Pirates and White Sox in early August. He’s been much more solid since then, with a 3.38 ERA over his last 4 starts, although the home runs have still been a problem.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference